The 50 Best Foreign* Slasher Flicks: 30-21

Up n’ up…

See #50-41 here.
And #40-31 here.

30Invitation Only (Taiwan, 2009)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDb: 5.0

invitation only 2009

A young chauffeur is handed an invite to a high society party by his client, who doesn’t want to go and tells the guy to pose as his cousin. It turns out he and four others have been invited to be tortured in front of a bunch of super-rich voyeurs because they’ve each done something wrong.

It’s Taiwan’s answer to Hostel, with some fun moments along the way, including a particularly grim scene where a corrupt political wannabe has his balls fried with jumper cables. Ouch.

*

29A Blade in the Dark (Italy, 1983)

VeVo: 2.5 Stars
IMDb: 6.0

a blade in the dark 1983

A young composer hired to score a horror film rents a villa where the previous tenant carved something of a reputation for herself. Seems any beautiful young women who happen by for a number of contrived reasons end up slashed to pieces by a mystery killer.

Lamberto Bava directed this rather minimalist entry in to the giallo canon but, bloody demises aside, it doesn’t offer much to remember it by.

*

28Nightmare (2000, South Korea)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDb: 5.3

nightmare 2000

Two years after the suicide of a friend, a group of young folks are haunted and murdered by her ghost. Or are they? Deservedly ranking higher than the sub-par RecordNightmare borrows heavily from the likes of The Ring and The Grudge, but the creepy visual atmos more than makes up for several plot contrivances and a confusing structure.

*

27Absurd (Italy, 1981)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDb: 5.3

absurd 1981

This sort-of sequel to The Grim Reaper (which I’ve seen but can’t remember) pretty much goes down the copy-Halloween route of babysitters stalked by a loon, in this case an invincible bearded dude whose ability to regenerate cells is the absurdity of the title. He’s being hunted by a priest, and shows up at a house to torment bed-ridden Katya, her severely punchable little brother, Willy, and any number of babysitters and passers-by.

A resident of the infamous Video Nasties list of the 1980s, the first two slayings are pretty strong on the gore front, I mean, bald guy’s head being forced into a saw blade. Ouch.

*

26Hell’s Ground (Pakistan, 2007)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDb: 5.7

hell's ground 2007

Pakistan’s entry into the horror canon at least spares us the musical interludes of its Indian peers, and also throws toxic zombies into the mix as a vanload of youngsters on their way to a rock festival go too deep into the woods. They also fall victim to a burka-disguised, mace-swinging psycho. What a day.

*

25Cub (Belgium, 2014)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDb: 5.9

cub

A boy scout camp-out venture ventures too far into the Belgian forest, where the legend of a feral wooden-masked child turns out to be true. This crowd-funded flick interestingly opts to tell its tale largely from a child’s point of view, has impressive production values and some creepy moments, but ultimately retreads too-similar a path come the climactic scenes.

*

24Eyeball (Italy, 1975)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDb: 5.9

eyeball 1975

Tourists in Barcelona are targeted by a rain-macked killer who plucks the eyes out of young women, including several of those in the tour group. As is usual in giallo pictures, all the men are suspects and all the women are in danger.

The eventual outcome is hilariously overblown, but I didn’t guess it.

*

23999-9999 (Thailand, 2002)

VeVo: 3.5 Stars
IMDb: 5.1

999-9999 2002

Thailand’s attempt to ape Final Destination is a bit cheap in places, but ultimately an entertaining flick. After a girl is found skewered atop a flagpole, rumours abound that she called the mysterious 999-9999 hotline, which grants you anything you wish for – but with a cost.

Cue a group of pranksters asking for a Ferrari but then getting killed by a defective car wash, to lose weight and having their innards ripped out in a bizarre accident, or, in the weirdest scene, winning a space camp contest and being sucked into an anti-gravity chamber with several saw blades.

*

22Cold Prey III (Norway, 2010)

VeVo: 3.5 Stars
IMDb: 5.1

cold prey 3 2010

The film world’s obsession with trilogies is probably responsible for this prequel, which rewinds back into the mid-80s where seven young friends go on a summer’s camping trip in the mountains, where they disturb the homicidal Fjellmannen, who was defeated with irreversible finality in Cold Prey II.

While clearly a step down from the first two films, there’s still a lot to like here, peaking in the middle with a tension cranking chase through the woods and into an abandoned cottage, and nicely drawn out characters who, unlike recent American films, aren’t assholes we want to see skewered.

*

21Evil Dead Trap (Japan, 1988)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDb: 6.2

evil dead trap 1988

A precursor to the likes of Saw, the presenter of a late night TV show where viewers send it whacky videos receives one of a woman being gruesomely tortured and, to turn around their falling ratings, asks if she can take some colleagues to investigate the scene. Naturally, they are each caught in icky traps that skewer and bisect them, until only the presenter lady is left. All of this occurs in the first half of the movie, opening things up to some weird shit I’ve largely repressed but is nothing like any other slasher flick you’re likely to see. Avoid the sequel though.

The 50 Best Foreign* Slasher Flicks: 40-31

Up we climb… See #50-41 here.

40Kucch to Hai (India, 2003)

VeVo: 2.5 Stars
IMDb: 4.3

kucch to hai 2003

A two-and-a-half hour musical slasher movie from India, with some lines of dialogue spoken in English, but mostly in Hindi. This sanity-tester spends an hour building up to high school students finding their professor has murdered his wife and them running him over to escape, only to be stalked by a mystery killer at a ski lodge during a reunion three years later.

Scenes from I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend are ripped off shot-for-shot, while the ‘action’ is interspersed with pop songs about love, usually accompanied by music videos you’d expect Britney Spears and N Sync to have made in the 90s. Bizarrely entrancing.

*

39Record (South Korea, 2000)

VeVo: 2.5 Stars
IMDB: 4.6

record 2000

I Know What You Did Last Summer Xerox #329 hails from South Korea, where a group of high schoolers play a cruel prank on their nerdy classmate, which results in him being stabbed, burned, and then falling over a cliff!

A year later, the group are tormented by a shady figure wearing a bright orange suit, who plays games with and kills them one by one. The good girl heroine tries to work out who it is before he gets her, even though she wasn’t even involved in the prank.

Worth seeing for the awesome translations:

  • “Everybody die not long time.”
  • “You are a not get. I have found the path to outcome you.”
  • “You are nothing but a hell kite!”

*

38The Windmill Massacre (Netherlands, 2016)

VeVo: 2.5 Stars
IMDB: 4.8

windmill massacre 2016 ben batt

Dutch-but-in-English Reeker-esque shenanigans as a group of ‘sinners’ on a bus tour of Holland’s windmills are collected by a Jeepers Creepersy ghoul and sent to hell, I guess.

One of those movies that kind of spends its running time sliding down a slope of increasingly predictable situations as the plot unfolds and the novelty of Amsterdam’s backdrop is switched out for any-old-woods.

*

37School’s Out (Germany, 1999)

VeVo: 2.5 Stars
IMDB: 5.2

school's out 1999

Made-for-TV reaction to Scream with a harlequin-costumed killer scissoring teens on a scavenger hunt at their graduation party. I can’t remember a whole lot more about this one, only that it was tame and the German-speaking buddy I leant it to thought it was absolute crap.

*

36The House by the Cemetery (Italy, 1981)

VeVo: 2 Stars
IMDB: 6.2

the house by the cemetery 1981

Fulci’s apparent attempt at copying The Shining with more stab and drip concerns a family moving into ‘the old Freudstein place’ where a zombie-like dude who resides in the basement kills random babysitters, realtors, and horny teenagers who dare venture down there. The memory that sticks most is that the child was dubbed by a grown woman trying to sound like a child and, well, the results are shrill to say the least.

*

35Deep in the Woods (France, 2000)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDB: 4.2

deep in the woods 2000

A troupe of young actors are summoned to a castle in the middle of the woods to act out a version of Little Red Riding Hood for the birthday of a millionaire’s grandson. After they’re done, the horror begins as a creepy wolf-masked loon starts stalking and killing them one by one.

*

34Slaughter Night / SL8 N8 (Netherlands/Belgium, 2006)

VeVo: 2.5 Stars
IMDB: 5.3

slaughter night / sl8 n8 2006

College students take a tour of an old mine haunted by the vengeful spirit of a 19th century child killer, who possesses various members of the group in an effort to kill seven souls so he can exit hell or something. Kind of Long Time Dead by way of My Bloody Valentine.

*

33Sssshhh… (India, 2003)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDB: 4.4

ssshhh 2003

Like Kucch to Hai, this is another Indian slasher-musical, which apes Scream as the sister of a recently-murdered girl is stalked by a clown-masked killer. Then there’s the obligatory falling-in-love, lots of songs about love, and the teens bugger off to some huts on an island and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer becomes the new point of focus as they’re eventually killed off. At nearly three hours long, this one is a chore, but at least boasts some interesting scenery and cultural backdrops to set the horror up against.

*

32Dead in 3 Days (Austria, 2006)

VeVo: 2.5 Stars
IMDB: 5.5

dead in 3 days 2006

Another Euro go at the themes of I Know What You Did Last Summer, this time with a bunch of graduating friends all sent a text informing them they’ll be dead within three days. Dismissing it as a prank proves fatal, as they start dying, leaving attack-survivor Nina to piece it together and discover it all goes back to something that did as kids.

The icy backdrop provides an interesting blood-and-snow dynamic but things peter out with a weak final act. It was followed by a sequel with the confusing name Dead in 3 Days 2, which I’ve yet to see.

*

31Black Serenade (Spain, 2001)

VeVo: 3 Stars
IMDB: 4.5

black serenade tuno negro 2001

Spain clambered aboard the Scream bandwaggon with this collegiate mystery, which had more in common with Urban Legend than anything else: The poorest performing students at the University of Salamanca are murderized by the mythical Dark Minstrel as punishment for not ‘earning’ their place in higher education.

Transfer brainiac Alex tries to solve the mystery while she sees her new group of friends killed off for cheating in their exams. Things grind on a bit too long to a ridiculous conclusion that makes little sense given what happened up to that point.

The 50 Best Foreign* Slasher Flicks: 50-41

What makes a thing foreign? ‘Tis a difficult question, aye.

I originally cobbled together a list of non-North American slasher films, but then thought Hey, no, I don’t want all these British movies clogging it up either – I want to feel cultural!

So out went products of English-speaking countries altogether, but that still left me with a handful of overseas-produced films that were in part presented in English.

Damn it, said I, let’s just go for the films produced abroad that didn’t pretend they were American, but may have British/American actors in them.

Then I said: Why is this so hard???

I’ve ranked them by adding my score to IMDb’s score, will have doubtlessly forgotten some, and have even seen a few more post-listing which would doubtlessly change a few things.

Anyway, the 50 Best non-American, non-Canadian, non-British, non-Australian, non-Irish, non-other-countries-I-forgot slasher films (beware yon spoilers):

*

50: Silent Bloodnight (Austria, 2006)

VeVo: 1.5 Stars
IMDb: 2.8

silent bloodnight

I love Austria – it’s beautiful year round and the people are friendly. Sadly this doesn’t afford the first of their two films in this countdown dropping out first: Sexy young people who are going to open a Boy Scout Camp are being slain by a shovel wielding loon who looks like they’ve become entangled in their own bed sheets. The film is one big headfuck with little coherence but tons of full frontal nudity from both genders! Go European inhibition!

Curiously recorded in English, which means there are some bad translations at play: “Something unexplained has happened!”

*

49Blood Tracks (Sweden, 1985)

VeVo: 1 Stars
IMDb: 4.0

blood tracks 1985

There’s debate over whether this film is Swedish or British. Either answer doesn’t stop it sucking – but it was filmed in Sweden with many a Swedish actor and appears to have been dubbed so let’s say Sweden.

A hair metal band called Solid Gold go into the mountains to film a music video at an abandoned factory where a family of Hills Have Eyes-esque miscreants reside who don’t take kindly to the arrival of masses of hair that threatens to block out the sunlight.

The band and their topless-despite-the-freezing-temperatures groupies/dancers are stalked and murdered in a sequence of under-lit scenes, rendering the film difficult to watch for another reason.

*

48Bloody Moon (Spain, 1981)

VeVo: 1 Stars
IMDb: 5.3

bloody moon 1981

I fucking hated this one when I watched it many [bloody] moons ago and only just revisited it a couple of weeks back.

Stupid girls at a stupid school are murdered by a stupid killer who may or may not be some disfigured guy recently released from an institution. So idiotic is everything that in one scene, a girl allows an anonymous masked stranger to drive her to a mill and tie her to a slab without questioning his motivations.

*

47Skeleton Crew (Finland, 2009)

VeVo: 1.5 Stars
IMDb: 3.6

skeleton crew 2009

Another film crew making a based-on-true-events horror movie at an asylum are stalked and slain and that’s roughly all I remember of this Finnish export, which adds nothing of its own culture to the mix, merely aping any number of American productions to no avail.

*

46Paranormal Xperience 3D (Spain, 2011)

VeVo: 2 Stars
IMDb: 3.7

paranormal xperience 3d

Considering Spain has seen the homegrown awesomeness of The Orphanage and Julia’s Eyes (more of that later) in recent years, it makes sense that the equal and opposite reaction theory coughs up crud like this, in which five failing psych students are sent to a town to document the legend of a cursed mining town, stalked by an undead maniac.

The 3D gimmick means everything else takes a backseat as a girl’s ass in tiny shorts takes up the majority of the screen at one point, showing exactly how much thought went into everything else.

*

45The Nun (Spain, 2005)

VeVo: 2 Stars
IMDb: 4.0

the nun 2005

Two in a row for Spain. The Nun would likely be rated a lot higher by everyone were it not for the worst twist ending you could imagine.

After witnessing the bizarre death of her mother, teenager Eve travels to Spain to play detective as mom’s Catholic school friends are also dying one by one in weird circumstances. A spectral nun – ghost of the abusive Sister Ursula, whom the girls accidentally killed eighteen years earlier – is hunting them down.

Only she isn’t. The entire film is revealed to be a lie at about minute 95 and Eve is somehow the killer, despite the first death occurring before the ‘traumatic event’ that sets her off on her merry spree. A candidate for worst twist ending ever.

*

44The Crying Tree (Thailand, 2003)

VeVo: 2 Stars
IMDb: 4.2

the crying tree 2003 jun ka por

A girl who runs a family country resort finds that all potential suitors who enter her life end up murdered. Low-end production values are harmful, but at least there are some laughs to be had along the way before the so-fucking-obvious identity of the killer is revealed: One guy is beaten with a copy of the Yellow Pages while another hitches and accepts a ride from the cloaked and masked killer.

*

43Trackman (Russia, 2007)

VeVo: 2 Stars
IMDb: 4.3

trackman

Russia’s turn to export a slasher movie should be dripping in Soviet allegory, vodka, and brutality, but instead they gave us Trackman, in which a group of bank robbers take some hostages into the subterranean tunnels beneath Moscow, where a Chernobyl victim of Jason-like stature teleports around, pick-axing them to death. The 77 minutes felt like 177.

*

42One Way Trip (Austria/Switzerland, 2011)

VeVo: 2 Stars
IMDb: 4.5

one way trip 2011

Released in 3D to up ante, this good-looking flick is essentially a carbon copy of the UK/Irish Shrooms, but ultimately a little better in most instances: Eight young people head into the Swiss forest to experience the effects of a seasonal hallucinogenic mushroom and, after one of them is injured, seek shelter at a farmhouse where a disfigured woman begins stabbing, skewering, and burning them. Without the aforementioned film already existing, the twist might have been a lot more effective. In spite of the title and credits, it’s yet to be released with either English subtitles or dubbing.

*

41Drowning Ghost (Sweden, 2004)

VeVo: 2 Stars
IMDb: 4.6

drowning ghost 2004

Sweden’s importance to the music industry isn’t accurately reflected in horror films, as evidenced by this soggy mystery, where a killer stalks students at a private school where a girl committed suicide a year earlier and, 100 years before, a farmer murdered three students and drowned himself. Or something.

Notable for a pre-fame Rebecca Ferguson being in it but little else, I watched this one again fairly recently and still can’t remember a damn thing.

Something about Shrooms…?

one way trip 3d 2011

ONE WAY TRIP

2 Stars  2011/86m

“They wanted the ultimate kick – they got it.”

Director: Markus Welter / Writers: Matthias Bauer & Bastian Zach / Cast: Sabrina Reiter, Matthias Britschgi, Simon Kaser, Harry Lampl, Melanie Winiger, Herbert Lesier, Isabelle Barth, Tanja Raunig, Aaron Hitz, Martin Loos.

Body Count: 7


Bluntly, if you’ve seen Shrooms, you’ve seen this. But this one has 3D. And is all in German.

Yeah, that’s right… despite the title (no regional title) and all the credits being in English, since its production in 2011, nobody has bothered cobbling together a subtitle track for One Way Trip, so I had to fall back on my remedial German skills to try and follow the plot. Not too difficult as it turned out. Beware spoilers

Six young adults drive their gorgeous VW T2 – for the first time ever, the same colour scheme as mine!!! – into the Swiss forests to look for a seasonal mushroom with hallucinogenic properties. On route they encounter a particularly unpleasant farmer, shooting wildlife, and his starey daughter, get a flat, and pick up a stranded couple at the garage. Why they were stranded I don’t know, my translation skills failed me.

one way trip 2011

Tents up, shrooms located, the group enjoy their respective trips until Timo is attacked or injured (hard to tell) and needs medical attention. Oh look, a storm is coming in too! Evidently phones don’t work and the drive back to help is further than the farm they locate on their map, so they trek through the rain there.

Nobody is home, so the group sets up in the creepy old house until the nasty old farmer from before pops up. Meanwhile, the usual reasons to go outside crop up and it’s not long before people start dying at the hands of the scarred daughter: One guy is suspended upside down by chains, gagged, has hosiery pulled over his face and then knifed in the eye, there’s a decapitation, a fall on to an iron fence, burning, blades in the back…

Obvious final girl Valerie appears to be the last dame standing, although a couple of the others have just vanished, and she fights with Psycho Farmer in some outside pit.

one way trip 2011

Then we get the twist. Pretty much the same twist as Shrooms, albeit involving more folks. Perhaps some dialogue would’ve made things more obvious, but I was pretty sure that about half the party tripped out to the extent they decided to kill everyone and, well, that’s all folks.

Well made – though the obv. 3D shots are infrequent – with some nice scenery early on, above average production merits and a good chase scene, but it seemed to reach its climax so suddenly I half expected a twenty minute in-hospital epilogue. Perhaps I should re-learn German and watch it again. The most common criticism in other reviews is that the cast all speak the ‘generic’ form of German, rather than dialects more common to the area where the characters are supposed to hail from.

Blurb-of-interest: Sabrina Reiter was also the lead in Dead in 3 Days.

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